This Week in Sci Fi TV: The Dark Tower Aims at Television, AMC and Netflix Amp Up Development, and More

By | August 4, 2017

 TV Series In The Works

The Dark Tower hits theaters today, and there is already a TV series in the works linked to the film. The plan is for it to air between the movies, and it will act as a prequel / fill-in to the story playing out on the big screen. According to the film’s director Nikolaj Arcel, who will be involved in the series, the movie acts as a sort of an introduction to the world Stephen King created in the novels. But the series will provide more of the backstory: “We’re going back in the past. It’s very, very closely adhering to the Wizard and Glass novel and parts of The Gunslinger novel.” Idris Elba will continue in the gunslinger role in the the series and a younger actor, yet to be cast, will play Rolland. Of course all of this is in the planning stage only, and a TV series moving forward will likely depend on how well the first film does in the theaters.

AMC Brings In Rainn Wilson And More

AMC, once the network of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, has done pretty well with sci fi and fantasy programming having produced two huge hits in The Walking Dead and its spin-off Fear the Walking Dead, along with well-respected shows like Into the Badlandsand Preacher. At the TCAs this week the network has announced it will be developing even more genre entries with The Office‘s Rain Wilson headlining one project, a sci-fi anthology, an apocalyptic series and more. All of these are are at various stages of development and AMC will be considering adding them to its schedule over the coming year or so. Here is the info on three of the more interesting projects, and you can read about he rest at this link:

Untitled Rainn Wilson Project

A one-hour scripted series that follows an alien entity which takes over the body of a poly-addicted, middle-aged man living in the San Fernando Valley.

‘Shock Theatre’

An anthology wherein each episode will be a brand-new sci-fi horror tale in the style of the B movie classics.

‘The Age of Miracles’

Julia’s world is shifted, literally, when a shocking fact is made public: Earth’s rotation is suddenly, dramatically and inexplicably slowing down. As the days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, and people start falling sick to a mysterious new illness. Julia is also forced to cope with the normal disasters of everyday life as her parents’ marriage falls apart and she struggles with lost friends and first love.

Amazon Has Another Alternate-History Series In The Works

Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, based on the Phillip K. Dick book, is a hit and is headed to its third season, and now the streaming service is working on anotheralternate history series. It is title Black America and Variety gives the following description:

The alt-history series will explore a world in which newly freed African Americans have secured the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as reparations for slavery. The new nation, known as New Colonia, has a tumultuous relationship with the United States government.

This announcement comes shortly after Game of Thrones showrunners revealed their plans for an alternate history series in which the south won the civil war and slavery still exists in the Confederate States in the current day. That show has come under fire for allegedly having racist themes (even though the first script has yet to be written!) and has inspired the  social media campaign. As for the Amazon series, the streaming services will likely look to add that to its line-up of originals at some point in 2018.

Netflix Is Going Big on Original Anime

already covered the Netflix Godzilla Anime movie which will be bowing later this year, and now it appears that more Anime is on the way. The streaming service has announced plans for twelve original Anime series that range from horror to sci-fi to fantasy to kid shows. Here are some of the highlights, and you can read about the full slate at this link:

‘Devilman Crybaby’

The protagonist Akira Fudo (Koki Uchiyama) learns from his best friend, Ryo Asuka (Ayumu Murase), that an ancient race of demons has returned to take back the world from humans. Ryo tells Akira that the only way to defeat the demons is to incorporate their supernatural powers, and suggests that he unite with a demon himself. Akira succeeds in transforming into Devilman, who possesses both the powers of a demon and the soul of a human. The battle of Devilman and Akira Fudo begins.

‘Cannon Busters’

Created, directed and executive produced by LeSean Thomas (Children of Ether), the series follows the adventures and exploits of S.A.M, a high-end, royal-class friendship droid who’s joined by a quirky, discarded maintenance robot and a brash, deadly fugitive. Together, the unlikely trio embarks on an unforgettable journey in a fantastic and dangerous world in search of S.A.M’s best friend, the heir to a powerful kingdom under siege.

‘Knights of the Zodiac: SAINT SEIYA’

The series follows modern day adventures of young warriors called “Knights”, who are sworn protectors of the reincarnated Greek goddess Athena. Each Knights wears a powerful armor based on their chosen zodiac constellation, and are called Knights of the Zodiac. They aid Athena in her battle against powerful Olympian gods who are bent on destroying the humankind.

Possible Spin-Off To ‘The Originals’ In The Works At The CW

The Originals will be coming to an end with its fifth season, but The CW is considering keeping the franchise going with a spin-off series. The potential new show would focus on Hope Mikaelson, daughter of Niklaus Mikaelson and Hayley Marshall-Kenner, who is part vampire, part werewolf, and part witch. This project is just at the conceptual stage at this point, though, with no firm plans in place at the moment. The Originals is a spin-off of Vampire Diaries, which wrapped up last season, and this new show would potentially keep that universe alive on the network for a while longer.

Sci-Fi TV Status Report: Salvation May Be Headed To Disaster

On Wednesday, new CBS series Salvation aired a double episode and only averaged a 0.5 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 3.6 million total viewers. Its numbers were already marginal (though better than Zoo is doing on the same network), and this slip could put the show on thin ice. CBS does have a streaming deal with Amazon, but that may not be enough to help it. Considering that repeats of The Big Bang Theory are pulling double those ratings this Summer, it seems unlikely that the network will keep this one around for a second season if it remains at these levels.

Over on ABC on Tuesday, Somewhere Between improved slightly to a 0.4 rating with 1.7 million total viewers, but that is probably far to little to help that show. I am expecting the network to kick it to Fridays or Saturdays pretty soon. On Monday, NBC’s Midnight Texas slipped to a 0.8 rating with 3.3 million total viewers, but that one is still the highest rated genre entry on the broadcast networks this Summer. Whether that will be enough to get it a second season remains to be seen.

 Has Its Series Finale Next Week

The clone drama Orphan Black got its start on BBC America four years ago and has since developed a reputation as one of the better science fiction shows to emerge from the Peak TV overload. Through its five seasons it has explored themes of identify, what it means to be human, women’s rights over to their own bodies, and more. But now the show will be wrapping up with its fiftieth episode which will air next Saturday at 10 PM EST. The show has had quite a run and will likely be one that is well-remembered for years to come. You can keep up with the full listings of sci fi and fantasy shows each week here.

News Bites:  Crossover Episodes And More

The CW has announced the dates for the next four-series crossover event that will occur with the network’s DC Arrow-verse shows. It will begin with Supergirl on November 27th and continue to Arrow (which will move to Monday for the crossover), then finish up with The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow on Tuesday. The specifics of the storyline have not been announced yet.

Hartley Sawyer has been cast to play the Elongated Man in the upcoming fourth season of The CW’s The Flash.

Lego plans on releasing a series of sets based on the original Voltron series from the 1980’s

Australian actress Teagan Croft has been cast as Raven in the upcoming Titans live-action series that will be available on the new DC streaming service.

NOTE: I will be traveling next week, and will catch up with the sci fi TV news with a new post the following week.

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